Hearth & Home Fusilier's Ration

(3.21)
Russ Ouellette's interpretation of the classic Bengal Slices contains Cyprian latakia, Oriental leaf, bright Virginias and a hint of unflavored black cavendish. Lightly scented and hot pressed.

Details

Brand Hearth & Home
Series Marquee Series
Blended By Russ Ouelette
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 1.76 ounce tin weight
Country Unknown
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
Mild
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium to Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.21 / 4
23

21

6

3

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 52 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2015 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is easily the best tobacco to come from Russ. I'm told it resembles Bengal Slices, but I've never had that. It's tough to get lit, but burns like a tire fire once properly ignited. The only fault is that it's only available in 50gm tins. 8oz tins or bulk would be great.
Pipe Used: Cob & briar
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: Fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 16, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
The Cyprian Latakia is smoky, earthy, musty, woody sweet as the lead component. The Oriental/Turkish are very smoky, woody, earthy, herbal, vegetative, leathery, and a little floral and spicy, all of which are noticeable in every puff as a supporting player. The Virginias are grassy with a little tart and tangy citrus, earth and wood, and a touch of tangy dark fruit, and is just above being a condiment. I get just a little cocoa, which may come from a pinch of Kentucky, though that ingredient isn't noted in the description. Sometimes, it can come from a Turkish varietal. The unflavored black cavendish helps smooth out the rough edges with some sugary creaminess. I'm not sure about the topping, but I sort of got anise and bourbon notes from it. The fermentation this blend undergoes in the processing causes a little of that (and/or rum) type of sweet flavor, which makes it hard to identify the topping. While the vanilla and other sweet flavors keep this from being a Lat-bomb, this blend has enough strength for most experienced English smokers while being light enough on the nicotine to be a repeatable smoke during the day. It's not an all day smoke though. The strength and nic-hit are medium. The taste is a couple of steps past that mark. Burns clean, cool and slow as a krumble cake will do with no dull or harsh spots. Won't bite, but sports a few small rough edges. The blend is complex and well balanced so that you taste all the nuances in every puff to the finish. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl, though I find stirring up the tobacco in the last quarter of the bowl helps to burn it to a satisfactory finish. Requires some relights. Has a very pleasant, lingering after taste and stronger room note. Not an all day smoke.

-JimInks
66 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
A favorite blend of mine; Fusilier's Ration is a really flavorful smoke with deep, rich flavor from top to bottom. In fact, the further down the bowl I go the more intense the flavor. I switched from a U to V shaped bowl for all of my FR smokes for this very reason. I've smoked a ton of the Danish made Bengal Slices and some of the English. Fusilier's Ration is fuller in flavor and flavor varience than both and I suspect that with more aging, would compete favorably with the old English version of Bengal.
44 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 23, 2012 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Russ came on a pipe forum I belong to and posted about this as a tobacco reminiscent of Bengal Slices. I used to love fresh Bengal, so I jumped on it. I can't really compare the two, since it's been so long, and aged tins of the original haven't fared so well for me.

This comes as multiple pressed bars of tobacco (rather than flakes), probably a 5 on a scale of 1-10 for breakability. Once you get it rubbed out, it burns easily. Excellent tin aroma, heavy on the oriental and latakia and a nice underlying sweetness. This sweet taste doesn't take center stage but it's evident in every puff, and elevates this blend beyond the ordinary. I loved the previous reviewer's "smoky fruits and nutty sweets" comment, and he is spot on. This tobacco runs the gamut of flavors and nails each one. Nothing overwhelms, it all just melds together in this wonderful opus of chewy, mouthfilling goodness. Even so, the complexity level doesn't demand the smokers attention, but sits back and rewards the thoughtful puffer. I get sweet coffee notes and some dark chocolate as well as some plums and hazelnut, and even a hint of mulled cider. Didn't notice any overabundance of nicotine. Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys latakia and orientals AND has a bit of a sweet tooth.
32 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2013 Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Fusilier's Ration is a piece of work! Here is a blend that separates the master blender from the amateur, the artist from the painter. I was instantly intrigued when I first heard of this blend as it was inspired by, and sought to emulate the long departed Bengal Slices, of which I had smoked many a little black tin back in the eighties. The result is simply amazing and unlike anything else I've found available at this present date. Upon lighting up, while certainly not "The Original Celebrated Bengal Slices" of yore, nor yet as greasy, it was indeed fondly familiar to the olfactory memory of my mind.

This is a most pleasant and tasty smoke with a tantalizing seductiveness imparted by way of some floral topping. At the first answer of my nose, I could almost think cherry blossoms atop licorice, but oh no, this is English, right? Yes it is! Gone however is the heavy room note of the original which, while floral, could gag a camel in a latakia smokehouse. (Which was what set Bengal Slices apart back in the day.)

This is a crumble cake of course, and not sliced like the original; and if you want to complain about having to break it up, don't buy it because that's what you do with crumble cake. To me this only adds dimension to the experience... a time to anticipate the coming pleasure.

However, the smoking experience aside, what surprised me most was that the morning-after smell was almost non-existent. No, I was not surprised, I was shocked. And better yet, the nicotine was light and it had no bite, even after three back-to-back pipefuls. If you like exotic oriental, latakia blends, I think you will be delightfully pleased with this one. I am definitely buying more before the word gets out!
27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 11, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I have never had Bengal Slices, so there is no basis for comparison. This review is Fusilier's Ration on its own merits.

This is just a great blend. Mine came sightly dry and was easy to rub out by hand. The tin note is sweet and latakia.

The smoking experience is very flavorful. The oriental presence makes itself known, and there is a tickle when exhaling through the nose. There is a mild sweet topping I can't identify that enhances the natural dark Virginia taste. The latakia provides a smoky foundation that is always there but does not dominate. I claim the black cavendish is there to manage strength and is not evident to me as I smoke it.

The flavor profile was a little edgy for me. It has been a great smoke but has not had the creamy thick mouth feel that some latakia blends do. It was not finicky and burned well.

If the description sounds like something you would like, get some now. I think I will have another bowl myself.
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 27, 2014 Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Another recreated winner from Russ. The long lamented Bengal Slices had a few blends that were rumored to be replacements, but I never found either Penzance or Krumble Kake to be close. FR is much closer, not the same house but a few doors down.

The tin note is heavy with latakia and topping, which seems to me plummy with something else. At first light, the latakia comes through warm, buttery and earthy, with a light hint of the topping. As the smoke progresses, the latakia smoky gains a sweet edge, and the Orientals come through a little more, not very spicy but aromatic. I never rub the slices out so this is a long, slow burning tobacco and stayed very cool for me.
Pipe Used: GBD Meerschaum Rhodesian
PurchasedFrom: P&C
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2012 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Fusilier's Ration is an ambitious new blend from Russ Ouellette and Pipes and Cigars that pays homage to the original English version of Bengal Slices. My tin arrived with a mixture of cakes (bars actually) and shake. The tin aroma lends itself to the natural toppings and a very deep, rich tobacco flavor. As one other reviewer pointed out, I too find it difficult to compare to Bengal Slices as my remaining two tins didn't age well either. It does make me wonder how well FR will age?

The tobacco itself requires a fair amount of attention in the preparation phase. The cakes break apart with ease, but I find it really needs to be well dried prior to smoking, and it is important to not pack it as tightly as you may do with your other blends. Even when prepared as described, I cannot remember smoking a blend that burns as slowly as Fusilier's. Even though FR falls into the English realm (aromatic English for some), I find that in addition to careful preparation, a slow cadence is key in the same way one would smoke a straight Virginia. If not careful the blend will burn hot. I did rub out every bowl so the experience could be different with leaving the cakes intact. In keeping with English tobacco laws, the toppings are natural but I cannot place my finger on what they are, but I would guess it to be more than one. There is a nice, but not overpowering, sweetness to Fusiliers. If patient, FR delivers a rich, complex flavor profile. I did decide to knock it down a star due to the amount of care needed to get the most out of the blend and FR's ability to burn a little hot. I think that Fusilier's Ration is really well done and will likely have a dedicated following of which I will be a member. Russ Ouellette is really doing some exciting things at P&C!
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 13, 2017 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Hearth & Home - Fusilier's Ration.

Krumble Kake can often as not be a vague description. At one end of the scale are the likes of Cornell & Diehl's Black Frigate: one solid block, yet the spectrum also covers things like Bengal Slices: slithers of kake. This is the same construction as the latter. When I took off the lid and looked at the blend I had a little trepidation at first, the pieces had all stuck together, but when I pulled one away to be crumbled I realized it wasn't actually that damp, it had just stuck to the others in transit.

With a smoke like this, similarly to Bengal Slices, I get all of the English nuances (smoky, grassy, a slight tartness, with some hay), only they're toned down and kept in line by the black Cavendish. This makes it seem almost like a crossover between a beginners blend and one for experienced pipers. On a whole, the smoke is quite deep, really tasty, and fairly thick; remaining cool and bite-free for the entire duration.

To me the nicotine seems mild, and the room-note's fairly heavy; I quite like it, but I fear a few folks would find it too much.

The rating of Fusilier's Ration couldn't be any easier:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Levent Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins.com
Age When Smoked: One nmonth
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2013 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I don't know what the topping is on this stuff, but it adds a dimension to the many English Blends (I've had the pleasure to smoke thus far), that at least for me, after some time, can get a bit repetitive. I found this blend to be a wonderful treat and deviation from my traditional English Blends rounds. This may sound strange, but it falls into line with another recent blend I have come to love. Froggy in the Cellar (McClelland's Frog Morton In The Cellar). I find both of these blends similar, at least to my tongue, which I haven't been able to say that about any other blends in this category. I love them both and they will be in my regular rotation. Great job again Russ!

I have picked up several more tins after this review.
Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars.come
Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-2 years
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 13, 2014 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I'm a little surprised by how few reviews have been done when considering the enthusiasm which accompanied the release of this tobacco and the fact that it sure seems to be sold out alot. I believe I bought mine in early to mid 2012 and did something I rarely do which is to buy three tins with no idea if I would like it. My tins were 2oz. and now I see it noted here on TR and pipesandcigars,com as being a 1 1/2oz. tin, so has it's manufacturer been switched to Sutliff?

Anyway I did like it. A couple of chunky cake bars with a wonderful latakia and oriental aroma merged with a sweet scent wafted from the can and begged to be smoked. Once broken up the pipe was filled and the journey began. It would be a good latakia smoke even without the oldworld flavoring. As it stands it is a fine smoke with a twist that some may say is like the old Bengal and some say not, I shall stay out of that skirmish because I smoked only a couple of tins of the 1980's version and well...I don't care. If you want an occassional diversion from your usual latakias you might give it a try. Russ has certainly proved his desire to create a wide variety of tobaccos to suit just about everyone's needs. Keep it up!
Pipe Used: various
Age When Smoked: varied
8 people found this review helpful.
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